What's in a Name?

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You might think that being called Mommy all day by my little girl would bother me, but I’ve gotten used to it.

As a stay-at-home dad of six years, I’ve gotten used to a lot of things.

I’ve gotten used to being misunderstood.

I’ve gotten used to people asking me what I do all day.

I’ve gotten used to uncertain looks from moms at the playground.

I’ve gotten used to feeling uneasy when I’m around unfamiliar people and the subject of jobs or work comes ups.

I’ve gotten used to self-doubt.

I’ve gotten used to long days and long nights.

I’ve gotten used to frustration.

I’ve gotten used to simple joys.

Compared to all the things I’ve gotten used to over the past six years, all the ways my life has changed, my youngest child calling me Mommy didn’t take much getting used to. In fact, I love it.

My daughter doesn’t know what the word means. To her, it is a catchall term of endearment. It’s also the word she uses to procure food or drink or the Trolls movie on Netflix. I wear the moniker like a badge of honor.

I’m so proud of her.

“Why am I proud?” You might ask.

I left out one thing. My daughter calls pretty much everyone Mommy, and I’m super proud and jealous of her ingenuity. All these years, I’ve been trying to learn people’s names while I could’ve just called everyone I met Chris or something. Genius. It would have worked, too. All I would’ve had to do was call everyone by their new name about one hundred times an hour and they would’ve caught on. Trust me, I know. If I would’ve stuck to my naming conventions with unmatched tenacity and confidence, everyone I ever knew would’ve been answering to the name Chris in no time. What a missed opportunity.

That old parenting adage is right. It is a proud moment when your children achieve something you were never able to.

If you love this post, I have some good news. My book, Fatherhood: Dispatches From the Early Years, is available at Amazon. And if you haven’t, don’t forget to like my Facebook page and sign up for the email list.